The Novato Cemetery was created in 1898 for the first settlers or pioneers of Novato. The name of the cemetery has changed over the years to Pioneer Memorial Cemetery and was designated by the state of California as a point of historic interest in 1993.
Drawings from 1877 depict the cemetery as a treeless knoll top. The tallest structures were the marble monuments dedicated to the Haven and Sweetser families who planted 44,000 apple trees around the knoll and created what then called the largest apple orchard in the world.
One hundred years later, Pioneer Memorial Cemetery is a quick hike up a gentle sloping paved path in . The short path meanders around the cemetery under the various towering shade trees.
Once you reach the top, the joyful sounds of children playing in the nearby playground can be heard whispering throughout the trees. It is so peaceful and a lovely memorial to our pioneers.
One can learn a lot about the history of Novato by viewing these well preserved gravestones. The cemetery is small, but there are 126 people at rest there, including military veterans, farmers and teachers. Click here to view the tombstone records from the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery.